Happy Easter/God Påske 2013

31 Mar 2013 – En route to Busan/S Korea via Shanghai

Thu: all went well at dentist appointment with cousin Ken/National Dental Care. And time to catch up with the latest family gossips ūüôā

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Lunched at World Peace Cafe**vegetarian place around the corner on Neil Rd with John&Cathleen who is working at Kerry Hill Architects on Cantonment Rd.

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Glad that the shophouses there are nicely preserved and hopefully will be kept that way. With the police complex just across the road, they should at least be pretty safe unless the heritage concept changes!

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Fri: Southeast Asian Film Festival 2013, Liberta***is a docudrama about a suicide survivor who journeys towards Ayers Rock to find answers. There she encounters an unseen power. Directed by SIN local talent Kan Lume and produced by his wife Megan Wonowidjoyo. Faye Kingslee is the main cast in this monologue script. Liberta was awarded Prize at Cinema Digital Seoul in 2012.

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Sat: Japanese dinner in Tampopo**at Liang Court with Clem, followed by a pleasant evening walk along Clark Quay. Been a while since the last time, quite a glitzy night-life!

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Headed towards Fullerton Hotel to catch bus 196 and was again lucky to catch light show in the moonlight…

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Sun: The last Easter with¬†immediate family¬†was 2005, when¬†Katy was 3+, Ellie new-born and I was preparing for the AT thru’ hike! Easter Sun today, will be in SIN & Shanghai airports en route to Busan/S Korea to visit Audrey. Hopefully the cherry blossoms (Audrey’s pix) are still in bloom. With the tense situation there at present, is this wise? If not, then so be it, time will tell ūüôā ūüôā

Easter 2014, plans to be in CAE/SC to celebrate Linn’s 40th and hopefully May&family will also be there. Been some years since we were all together, 2010 in CAE/SC before James & Olai were born.

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Was going thru’ pix searching for some old Easter ones, but¬†could not find¬†any during Ireland or Norway days with an Easter¬†theme. Only one found was¬†from FL/USA 1989 when Claire was visiting during her sky-diving days.

Dublin days seems another life time ago. Pix from those days were mainly colour slides. Need to sit down and really organise them before the colours fade with the memory! Difficult to focus with all these preparations for the travelling. So much to do and so little time.

To a Christian, Easter Sunday means everything, when we celebrate the resurrection  of Jesus Christ РBernhard Langer

Lido Theatres

28 Mar 2013 – Then and Now

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Classmate from CHIJ/1962 Angela LOKE’s home was next to Lido (opened 1958)¬†then and we used to have lunch in her house and hopped¬†over the fence to the movies when it was one large theatre. Remember watching Ben-Hur¬†there.¬†There was¬†intermission in the middle of those long¬†movies when one can go out and buy drinks, snacks¬†or use the rest room without missing any parts of the movie! Above pix credits to Jerome LIM,¬†who has¬†an excellent¬†blog on SIN’s past and present:

http://thelongnwindingroad.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-big-strong-and-maybe-a-little-less-than-friendly-experiences-at-the-corner-of-orchard-and-scotts-road/

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Shaw’s iconic Lido Theatres reopened its doors 2yrs ago to the public after a make-over with 11 halls including one featuring SIN first and only IMAX’s Digital Theatre System then. Like the open space concept, especially when not crowded, also a good view of Ion and the Marriott Hotel on Orchard Rd.

CroodsTue: The Croods***computer-animated film set in the prehistoric era, when an earthquake forces¬†a¬†caveman, Gurg¬†& his family¬†to leave behind the only world¬†they know. The situation becomes even more complicated when Grug’s¬†eldest daughter falls for a nomad, whose quirky and imaginative search for ‘tomorrow’ is at odds with Grug’s reliance on the traditions of yesterday… a constructive message when the older generation¬†can learn from the new!

Shopped for Korea trip. Audrey tells me that Sun-Maid CA raisins are not available in Busan/S Korea. Unable to get online to confirm reservations, thank goodness the airport is a short trip of 20mins by bus costing OW/S$0.87cents (senior fare). Took the opportunity to shopped at T3 NTUC (10% senior discount on Tue), where there is no GST. Also to confirm with China Eastern Airlines for travel on Sun.

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Wed: tkx for dinner sis Jo for an early celebration. She will be celebrating her 76 Bday this Sun when I am away in Korea.

It  is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept,  and celebrate those differences РAudre Lorde

Joo Chiat Road 2013

26 Mar 2013 РPeranakan shophouses

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Fri: walked around the Joo Chiat area checking out the cane furniture to discover that they are rather costly nowadays. This area has a history dating back to the early 1900s when plantations owned by CHEW Joo Chiat were located then. As more people moved into Joo Chiat and along East Coast Road, there was a big demand for housing. Chew divided his land into building lots and sold them to developers to build houses. Today Joo Chiat is best known for its colourful rows of traditional Peranakan shophouses that line its narrow streets.

Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago and British Malaya (now Malaysia).

269725_10150237224008075_835903_nJohn&CatSat: lunched at home with John&Cathleen. Have not seen John for a while and good to catch up to hear how these young people are doing. Looks like he will be moving on after 3+yrs in SIN.

Good luck to them and hope to be able to visit after they are settled somewhere!

IMG_2181IMG_2182Sun: Campus’ Corner Weekend Carnival and to pick up a new silk sleeping bag liner. The old one from the AT hike has finally seen its days but it has been most useful and have been with all my journeys since 2004.

Use it when staying overnight as guest to save the work of stripping and washing bed linen.

Tkx¬†Les&Ivy for a¬†cozy Sun family home-cooked dinner. The unforgettable fish! Empurau, the most expensive fish was delicious. Unfortunately unlike the fish,¬†forgot to take pix of Sat¬†lunch and Sun dinner… am losing it!! Pix of J&C are downloaded from his FB.

HelterSHelter¬†Skelter:¬†meaning chaotic and disorderly haste! Lilico¬†undergoes multiple cosmetic surgeries¬†to her entire body. She’s looked upon as an icon for beauty. As the toll of her multiple surgeries begins to take its toll,¬†she makes the lives of those around her miserable as she tries to deal with career and personal problems. This Japanese flick is not my cup of tea, even¬†with the good acting…

Chaos  was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man РHenry  Adams

March Movies

23 Mar 2013 – 5 Movies

wDiary2The Wedding Diary¬†2**a SIN production. 2 years after the marriage of Wei Jie¬†and Zhixin¬†when they welcome an unexpected addition to their family. Zhixin’s¬†father suffers a stroke which puts a strain on the couple’s relationship. Zhixin has to handle the¬†business and at the same time to¬†see that her mother does not fall into depression and anxiety due to the situation.

movie43Movie 43: could not give any ratings, did not even sit thru’ it.¬†A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches insane story lines. Not my kind of movie!

BekasBekas***Iraq in the early 1990 was a devastating land to survive in. This is a story about two homeless brothers (Zana, 7) and (Dana, 10) who are orphaned and live on the edge of survival. They catch a glimpse of Superman movie through a hole in the wall at the local cinema and¬†decide that they want to go to America and live with Superman. Once they get there he can solve all their problems, make their lives easy and punish everyone that has been mean to them. On top of the list is Saddam Hussein…

OZOx the Great & Powerful***Disney’s fantastical adventure, origins of L. Frank Baum’s character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar, a small-time circus magician is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant land of Oz. There¬†he meets three witches, Theodora, Evanora¬†and Glinda, who are not convinced that he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.

Oscar¬†must find out who is good and who is evil before it’s too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion and ingenuity, Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man.

GambitGambit****art curator Harry’s (Colin Firth)¬†plan is to steal a painting from one of the world’s richest men, who is also his boss! In Nicole, he meets someone who appears to be the perfect candidate, the participation of a beautiful woman to act as his gambit.¬†But Harry becomes enraptured with her, causing his plan to take a series of wrong turns.

Entertaining and with humour but maybe being subjective as a fan of Colin Firth…

Books and movies, they are not mere entertainment. They sustain me and help me cope with my real life – Arlaina Tibensky

Tasmania in 1986

21 Mar 2013 –¬†And Tasmania Today

Wed: had to wait for the gas-man to check that the public gas pipes are in good condition. Thank goodness no leakage!

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Evening¬†slide show with Tasmanian wines and cheese at Campers’ Corner¬†on two of Tasmania‚Äôs walks, World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain/Lake St Claire National Park and the Bay of Fires.¬†Absolutely¬†beautiful nature, well-marked trails and luxurious¬†accommodations with fine dinning, ie for hiking standards! If not for the budget, hiking with daypack without roughing it out will be my future kind of hikes ūüôā

Thanks to Calvin & Seng Hock for their presentations, appreciations to Calvin for the invite and for bringing back memories of a 1986 trip!

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It has been a while ago since the first and last trip to Tassie/Oct 1986, when the historic site in Port Arthur was under renovations.¬†A small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas and an open air museum and Tasmania’s top tourist attraction, located app 60km/37mi SE of the capital, Hobart. Today it is a UNESCO site.

The Port Arthur massacre of 28 April 1996 was a killing spree in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded, mainly at the historic Port Arthur prison colony.

Cloudy day in Tessellated Pavement/Tasman Peninsula, 1986.

Giant chess game in Franklin Square/Hobart, 1986.

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Battery Point/Hobart 1986 where Mures Fish House**** was located then served delicious seafood. 2 nights stay at the Four Seasons**** then was less than $140! Hopefully another visit again soon but not this year.

In those days it was scrap books, thus still have the pix and scraps! And now it’s blogging…

I have seen Tasmanian devils battle over a carcass. I have seen lionesses crowding a kill, dingoes on the trail of a feral piglet, and adult croc thrashing its prey to pieces. But never, in all the animal world, have I witnessed anything to match the casual cruelty of the human being – Terri Irwin

Fine Lunching with a View

20 Mar 2013 – Totally Food & A Surprise Visit!

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Tue: JAAN*****Level 70, Equinox Complex, Swissotel. Derived from the ancient Sanskrit word for ‚Äėbowl‚Äô, JAAN¬†is an intimate, 40-seat restaurant dedicated to showcasing the finest in modern French cuisine in Singapore. The artisanal menu by Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer¬†is built around a passion for showcasing the freshest ingredients through simple but beautiful dishes that reflect both culinary tradition and creativity. The result is imaginative, innovative cuisine that celebrates and respects seasonality, terroir and the skills of the world’s best gourmet producers.

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Kitty from Ireland¬†and I enjoyed a 3 course¬†delicious and tastefully prepared food, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot bubbles over 3hrs! followed by another hour of shopping at Raffles City. This is the lifestyle of a¬†true tai tai… ūüôā

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Tkx¬†for dinner to Clement at Immigrants****back to the basics and revive the tastes and flavours that were once familiar. The food menu consists of dishes from the major ethnicities of Singapore ‚Äď Chinese, Eurasian, Indian, Malay and Peranakan. These small plates were commonly eaten at homes but are fast disappearing today. Prepared¬†by chef, Damian D‚ÄôSilva, each dish has a story to tell.

Drinking is just as important as eating. Immigrants is the first of its kind gastrobar in SIN, pairing ‘tapas’ style heritage dishes with a range of beverages like, craft beers, wines and whiskies.

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What a pleasant surprise! Welcome back to SIN Magnus, handsome young Norwegian friend. Time for only a drink at the Fullerton Hotel, but do appreciate the contact and updates. Good luck for all his conferences and safe journeys back to OSL/Norway. Hope to see him working in SIN or somewhere in the SE Asia area after his graduation this summer.

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose – Dr. Seuss/Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

St Patrick’s Day 2013

18 Mar 2013 – Happy Happy Birthday Linn

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Sat: Happy Bdays to niece PatLynn and grandniece Beth, mother & daughter who are both born on St Patrick’s Day. Tkx¬†for a lovely lunch, celebrated one day early. Great to see the orange generation PatLynn&David, SueLynn, Adeline&Lee¬†and the purple generation SunSun, Lucas and Beth enjoying the celebration. Michael and I were the only green generation present + Lucas & Beth’s paternal grandmother. Appreciations to be able to be present.

Thank you to HongSze for dinner at Tanglin Club, our annual get together when Richard is back from Sydney/ Australia. Was so engaged chatting that the camera did not get the chance to show!

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Sun: Happy St Patrick’s Day. Lunched with Carmel and¬†appreciations for her company, flowers¬†and¬†for driving to and from the parade. Thank goodness no rain but was hot and crowded and¬†disappointed with the¬†poor organising by IGAS committee…

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Lawrence & Les hosted dinner at Great World City Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine****for Kitty who is visiting from Ireland. Ciera¬†(Kitty’s daughter) and family will be returning back to Dublin/Ireland after 3+yrs here in SIN. Good Luck to them. Angie&YewHuat, tkx for their company.

Mon: spent Sun night at Les&Ivy so as to save time for not having to bus across the island. Lawrence who is staying at Les&Ivy. Lawrence and I were out early to pay our respects to our parents at the Mandai Crematorium. Lunched in town and then sent him off to the airport to catch his flight back to KCH. Has been a real crazy and lovely weekend.

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39yrs ago St Patrick’s Day was lying¬†at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin/Ireland…

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new – unknown

Let the Celebrations Begin

15 Mar 2013 – for St Patrick’s Day

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Thu: Happy 8th Bday¬†dear dear Ellie, 2nd grandchild. Will always remember the year she is born as that was also the year when I completed the AT thru’ hike.

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Surprised Lawrence by meeting him at the airport and had lunch at Terminal 3 before heading into town to Les&Ivy. Tonight the St Pats celebrations kick off with dinner for UCD visiting medical doctors, dean, professor, John, Muiris, Patrick & Patrick and also in good company of Bebe and Stanley.

Food by Nor Afandi Awang and champagne and wines to compliment the dishes.

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2 bottles of Cristal Champagne/2002¬†with foie¬†gras, smoked salmon and a few other finger food for starter. B√Ętard-Montrachet¬†Grand Cru/1995 with Duo Soup and Singapore Style Noodle with Lobster. Clos¬†de Vougeot/2002 with pasta and sorbet. 2 bottles of Chateau Latour/1989 with the Lamb. Chateau d’yquem¬†lur-saluces/1998¬†dessert wine with Pina¬†Colada.

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After such an evening, had to stay the night as the last bus was way gone. No need¬†for dreams or imaginations¬†of leprechaun! Woke up this morning to wonder if there is any life in the body. Gave myself a¬†cold shower¬†to get back into reality… ūüôā

Not even the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can give this selection of wines and food! This would bust the budget for a year of bills and expenses for me! Soooo blessed to be included and as always much appreciations to Les&Ivy for their gracious generosity and hospitality.

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Fri: how wonderful to be able to catch up with CHIJ classmates from 1962 class. This is in honour to Lynne Ong-Micheals who is back in SIN for a short stay. Hope to visit her in Cornwall before or after the UK Coast to Coast hike this summer. Thank you Evelyn for arranging this lovely evening in good company of Penny, Rebecca, Peggy, Lydia, Sylvia, Shirley & Pat at Kepple Club PeraMakan***

A passer-by watched two Irishmen in a park. One was¬† digging holes and the other was immediately filling them in again. ‘Tell me, ‘said the passer-by, ‘What on earth are you doing?’¬†¬†

‘Well, ‘said the digger, ‘Usually there are three of us. I dig,¬† Fergal plants the tree and Sean fills in the hole. Today Fergal is away unwell, but that doesn’t mean Sean and I have to take the day off, does it?

A Meeting

12 Mar 2013 –¬† to Liquidate a Company!

Thank you to Lawrence&Mabel for their gracious hospitality and for putting up with me.

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Fri: tkx to Chuan for dinner and a bed for the night. Appreciate the time with his family.

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Sat: AnnChee & JiaJia helping and volunteering their time at the Society for KCH¬†Urban Poor.¬†Sat & Sun Market’s new location Medan Niaga¬†Satok¬†where only a few stalls are occupied, probably due to higher rentals. Most of the vendors are behind the building, outside¬†at the parking lot where they have set up their own stalls. KCH has its own way¬†of doing business!!

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Some random KCH pix. Drove to meet Lawrence and Larry at the airport in the evening. Thank goodness traffic was not too bad.

dscn15813Condolences to 14th uncle Danny LAM Tin Chong in KL/Malaysia for the passing of his wife,14th auntie Jamilah YACOB/1935-2013¬†(Tue 5 Mar). Lawrence who was recently in KL returned with this sad news. The last¬†meeting with 14th auntie was Apr 2009…

http://amylamsg.com/2009/04/21/kuala-lumpur/

 

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Sun: a good briefing by Larry for the Mon meeting. Appreciations to Lily & Danny for a lovely dinner at The Venue***

ESCORTMon: meeting went OK, hopefully¬†next trip to KCH will solely be for pleasure!¬†A touch of humour¬†for any¬†meeting. Also a reminder to be specific and clear with words so that there can be NO miscommunications and no more of who said what. Everything should always be documented in black and white, but of course that does not always help where a culture of bribery is¬†the norm…

Tue: unfortunately human decency goes downhill in pursuit of materialistic values. Corruption is not just accepting brides, it is also about the vain attempt to satisfy greed and power.

Thank you Chuan for breakfast and for driving to the airport. Bidding farewell to the Cat City, riding on the Tiger safely back in the Lion City without any scratches… ūüôā

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power ‚Äē¬†¬†¬† John Steinbeck

Damai Beach Resort

8 Mar 2013 – Happy International Women’s Day

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Wed: Arr KCH (1hr flight time) safe and sound ahead of schedule on TigerAir. Appreciations to Chuan for meeting me at the airport. After running errands and a yummy bowl of KolokMee, it was time to catch the bus (MYR20 RT/S$8) to Damai Beach Resort*** app 45mins drive north from KCH center. 2N3D inclusive breakfast (MYR410 nett/S$165). Reasonable and decent buffet breakfast. Tkx to AnnChee for the bookings.

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Blissful and idyllic ambience located on the coast, this resort commands a panoramic view of the S China Sea with Mt Santubong in the background. The sound of waves crashing onto the shore is comforting. Places of interest include the Sarawak Cultural Village which is just around the corner but have been there a couple of times; Santubong jungle hike, been there done that.

http://amylamsg.com/2008/03/10/santubong-jungle/

The legend attached to Mt Santubong is¬†of intrigues, jealousy and¬†murder. When view from the S China Sea, the profile of Mt Santubong is supposedly to look like a woman lying on the horizon – my thoughts, any thing is going to look like a woman¬†in the¬†sailors’ imaginations who have been some time away at sea ūüôā

The first 3 days of this trip is for relaxing and reading. The SPA did not look too tempting. No internet without paying and thus no posting until back in KCH. This resort was originally a Sheraton 20+yrs ago and must have been quite something in its heydays. Holiday Inn took over next and now this is the third proprietor. The maintenance could be better but being by the sea, it must be extremely costly to keep things spick and spam!

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Room (1207) with a view and 188 steps down to the beach or an efficient shuttle pick-up. Was quite alone up in the hills but a perfect get away from the main drag. The chalets are ideal for families.

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Strolling at dusk and dawn was the only time comfortable and was back in the room before dark. Being alone up on the slope, horror movie The Shining/1980 with Jack Nicolson came to mind. No¬†REŠó°–ĮUM but red flags along the beach indicates the danger to swim in the sea and the other danger, Beware of Falling Coconuts ūüôā

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No dangers in capturing some these beautiful natural sand art made by the waves that only lasted a few minutes before they are completely wiped out by the waves. Sweet fragrance flowers fallen from the trees, but was told by the gardener that the locals call this Putat laut, botanical name Barringtonia asiatica tree

Life lasts but a few scratches of the claw in the sand РWislawa  Szymborska